About Us

History of Harry Chapin

History of Harry Chapin

Harry Chapin was a cinematographer, playwright, poet, songwriter and ardent advocate, fighting for what he saw as injustices in our society. He was best known as a prolific songwriter, recording artist and performer who played to more than 300 concerts a year.

Over the years, Harry demonstrated an amazing personal commitment, giving the proceeds of every other concert to organizations fighting hunger. Hunger became Harry’s cause and passion, discussing ending hunger at all appearances, lobbying Washington constantly for help, and aiding in the establishment of the World Hunger Commission. He was the founder of World Hunger Year (WHY), an international organization that brings grassroots organizations together to fight hunger.

He also established the hunger hotline in New York City (a service that remains open for all hungry people in the city) and the Long Island Cares Food Bank, where his widow, Sandy, still serves on the board of directors.

In 1981, Harry died suddenly and tragically in an automobile crash on the Long Island Expressway. He was scheduled to complete another benefit concert that night.

Our food bank's name was changed to The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida in 1994, when a board member and a friend of the late singer received permission from Chapin's family.

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